Google+ Blueprint for Football: Blueprint for Football Digest [Issue 21]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blueprint for Football Digest [Issue 21]

This is just a snippet of the digest that subscribers to Blueprint for Football Extra, this site's free newsletter, receive every Monday evening.  If you too want to receive the all links straight in your in-box, all you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter.

Coaching His Way Around The World
“A lot of academies in Africa are focused on football, and only do the education side because they have to. Its so amazingly difficult to become a footballer. For a normal job, you have to be talented, and you have to be hard-working. That will be enough to get you through university and have a good career. To be a footballer, you also have to be lucky. Luck is a massive part of becoming a great footballer. If you have a bad day when the scout comes, get an injury at the wrong time – that’s the luck factor. Why would you bank on the thing that requires luck?”

Extract taken from an interview with Johnny McKinstry, who has coached in three continents and is currently Head Coach of the Rwanda national team.  The piece has been reproduced on Blueprint for Football with the kind permission of Sandals for Goalposts.

The Doctor Did It!
Given the advances made both in medical knowledge and in the sports science teams within top football clubs, the belief that today’s players should be able to handle more games than ever has grown.  There seems to be an element of surprise – even affront - when someone is missing due to injury or, worse, complains about the number of games that players have to handle.

Examples are made of past players and teams who went through entire seasons barely using fourteen players.  If they could do it without all the specialised coaching and dietary regimes prevalent in today’s game, how is it that today’s players can’t do likewise.  

Such an argument, whilst sensible at face value, does not take into consideration that the added aides available to today’s players means that they now have to play games that are more intense than ever below.  This article takes a look at those demands, specifically those of Bayern Munich.

A Week in the Cantera of Barcelona FC
Despite Juventus’ run in the Champions League, Italian football has fallen well below the levels set in the glory days of the nineties when it dominated European football.  That decline has largely been for financial reasons but it is also down to ideological issues with many clubs often opting for cheap imports rather than putting faith in their own young players.

Elsewhere, however, the high standards remain.  The coach education culture, for instance, remains top notch particularly the practice of asking coaches to prepare a thesis which they then have to present to their educators as well as fellow coaches.  These theses are then published online thus increasing the knowledge base into which prospective coaches can tap into.

At least, that is the case for Italian coaches.  The rest have to wait for someone to translate such theses, like this extremely interesting one prepared by Milena Bertolini after spending a week at Barcelona’s cantera (youth academy).

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